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Erie County Health Commissioner begs residents to be smart this holiday weekend

Dr. Gale Burstein worried about people spreading COVID with three days off and good weather in the forecast for Memorial Day.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Friday’s Erie County COVID briefing featured Dr. Gale Burstein and the temptations …

… the temptations of a three-day holiday weekend in a region which just this week entered Phase 1 of reopening from the pandemic response shutdown.

That means there’s a bit more to enjoy, a bit more time to enjoy it and good weather in the forecast.

So, the Erie County Health Commissioner begged people to remember the COVID protocols during the Memorial Day weekend.

“We still need to wear a mask at all times, even when the weather is nice and you might get a little bit warm behind the mask. That’s still a better situation than a huge outbreak in the community and people’s lives lost,” Burstein said.

The commissioner admitted to being a bit stir crazy and pointed out she could only "attend" her father’s birthday recently through a video visit. But she notes these distancing efforts are important.

Countywide hospitalization numbers and ICU admissions continue to trend downward. But she worried that if people get carried away over the weekend that recent progress could be wiped out, setting the region back.

“I just beg Erie County residents, please be smart. Please, use good judgment. Please stay away from other people. It’s going to be a beautiful weekend. Please go take a hike to a walk where there aren’t a lot of people,” she said.

But do it with a mask, and carry hand-sanitizer, avoid gatherings of 10 or more, especially indoors.

In short, Burstein would like Erie County residents to continue to avoid the temptations… for now.

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